Plans to bring an assisted living facility to Evans-to-Locks Road moved forward Thursday as Columbia County planning commissioners voted in favor of the rezoning.
The 65,000-square-foot building would be located on 8 acres near the Jones Creek subdivision. Consisting of 75 units, the facility also would offer memory care services.
Attorney Bill Trotter, who represented the owner at the meeting, made clear that the proposed two-story facility is not a nursing home.
Trotter asked that installation of a sidewalk in front of the property on Evans-to-Locks Road not be made a rezoning requirement because it could violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said.
Trotter also wanted to allow the rezoning to revert from special district back to neighborhood commercial if plans fall through for the assisted living facility.
“We don’t want to give up what we have without some means of going back to it,” Trotter said. “We’re asking to maintain the status quo, not make any changes.”
The board granted those requests before passing its recommendation to county commissioners.
If the property is not sold within nine months of civil and architectural plan approval, the planning commission advised that the property remains zoned neighborhood commercial.
Construction is estimated to take more than a year to complete.
Design renderings of the project show that it meshes well with surrounding residences and retail areas, said planning manager Nayna Mistry.
“I think it’s a very good fit for that site and that location,” she said.
The board also approved rezonings for 10.5 acres on the 4200 block of Old Evans Road for the second phase of Connor Place and for four lots on Owens Road for five duplex structures.
In other business, planning commissioners passed final plats for Allen Farms and phase three of Collins Grove as well as a preliminary plat for the third phase of Bridgewater.